Maryland sculptor Bart Walter began working in clay in the 1980s. After three decades, his work now resides in notable public and private collections worldwide: from Ugandan Wildlife Authority Headquarters in Kampala, to the collection of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, to the National Zoo in Washington D.C. His recent accomplishments include the installation of a 15 ½ ft. tall bucking bronco and rider, Battle of Wills, at the Jackson Hole Airport, a larger-than-life rearing Mustang, The Guardian, at Stevenson University in Maryland, as well as the acquisition of a life-size sculpture group of chimpanzees entitled The Troupe by The Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee. There have been two solo exhibitions held at The Sharp Museum and The National Museum of Wildlife Art; and induction as a Fellow into the Explorer’s Club in New York for his outstanding work documenting wildlife from around the world through his sculptures and drawings. Known primarily for his unique and dynamic approach to surface, Mr. Walter has designed the Chairman’s Award for The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, several conservation Awards for Dr. Jane Goodall and is a Fellow and four-time Silver Medalist with the National Sculpture Society. Bart has multiple large public installations across America, and his work has been on display in seven solo exhibitions at art museums throughout the United States and abroad.
Combining a biologist’s eye and a sculptor’s understanding of his medium, Bart continues the tradition of 19th century Animaliers with life-like depictions of the animals he has observed. However, whenever possible, Bart prefers to sculpt en plein air, working with his subjects directly in front of him. In order to create a maquette (a small working model) of what he intends to sculpt, Mr. Walter brings wire, plywood, aluminum foil, and wax into the field. It can take several days to finish a single maquette, as animals can either be difficult to locate or residing in a low-visibility area. Mr. Walter has worked extensively using this method in Kenya, Rwanda, Botswana, and Uganda, as well as in Manitoba, Canada, Montana, and Wyoming.
Bart Walter’s extensive body of work is derived from a personal commitment to the integrity of each subject, whether human or animal and using maquettes along with charcoal sketches as reference allows this artist to infuse vitality and spontaneity into each creation. Bart Walter’s hands-on approach to the casting process results in sculptures that are faithful to the original work in clay or wax with no element lost.
With this holistic view toward the inspiration, creation, and casting of his work, Bart Walter has won the respect and admiration of fine art curators, collectors and the general public worldwide.